In Parliament this week I opposed the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust Amendment Bill, which will further commercialise and alienate our parklands. So much has already been lost, and what is left must be defended as surrounding population densities increase and create a greater need for public open green space.
The bill extends leases granted by the Centennial and Moore Park Trust from the current maximum of 20 years to 50 years and with ministerial approval up to 99 years.
The Minister wants money for capital works. While there is a need for ongoing investment, long leased lands are almost never returned to open space.
Years ago Centennial Parklands was largely funded by the State but is contribution has dropped below a measly seven per cent. Activities like car parking on Moore Park and leases at Fox Studios and the Entertainment Quarter now fund park maintenance.
In 1811, Governor Macquarie set aside the land Centennial and Moore Park to accommodate the needs of a growing city. 200 years later, we are still growing, yet our parkland is shrinking. It is time to stop whittling away what is left of our public land.